Tag Archive | business models

Humanity above bureaucracy drives results

I participated to the Future of Work seminar which was held this month at Hanken International Business School in Helsinki. It is time for new solutions says Buurtzorg`s establisher Jos de Blok. Keeping old working models and trying to improve efficiency has come to the end.

Buurtzorg

Why Buurtzorg? Jos de Blok had a long history working as a district nurse and before that he studied few years economics. He noticed with few co-workers that they were too concentrated to different products instead of patients.

Patient satisfaction went down. Many products, divided to activities, needed specialists. There where too many caregivers treating same patient. The most important thing, patient`s and nurse`s relationship could not be built. Patients and nurses got frustrated. At the same time costs went up as more specialists were needed, also schedule planners and different coordinators were needed to keep processes efficient. The middle management was growing because of the complexity. Professional nurses frustrated even more as they could not plan they own work anymore.

Nurses wanted to do their job as good as possible, but the system was actually against that will. The purpose must have been good in those health care companies, but still things went worse. Nurse job was not inspiring as you could not give your own input by influencing how the job should be done. I think that applies for other industries also. Management is lacking trust and thinking control is the answer to lead people. But control is not driving intrinsic motivation that leads to passion and totally different work spirit and productiveness.

Buurtzorg started 2007 with one team and has grown since that to 800 independed self-directed teams without managers. All employees are trusted and respected professionals. One team consists of max 12 nurses. Teams organize and are responsible for the entire process. Most of the nurses are generalists, so it is easy for the teams to plan themselves nursing/medical and social care. There are no products client needs to buy separately. The care is planned with the client. Nurses are concentrating to the client in a holistic way meaning to the patient`s illness and empathy needs and how to support her/him and help possible family members/volunteers to understand patient situation and how they can help. Patient needs to feel secure, so trust is important.

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Making mutual funds a mutual fun

Openfin hack and ideathon poster

Openfin hack and ideathon poster

They say the best way to become a great service designer is to participate in as many service design contests and hands on happenings as possible. It was what I thought when Minna Myyryläinen, one of my SID Laurea fellow students, brought the idea to join the openfin Hack and Ideathon competition in Espoo.

Finally our team, addition to Minna and me, included Antti Kytö and Jaakko Porokuokka, all SID13 Laurea students. I knew – despite none of us being a real hacker in code – this team could do anything related to creating awesome business concepts using our service design methods and toolkits. Luckily later the hacking part was completed when I persuaded my colleague and friend Lassi Jatkola to join our team. Before the event itself the team studied trends and innovations in the financial sector and shared views and ideas through chat.

Getting ready for the challenge

On Friday 26th the team gathered to the app campus premises and prepared itself for the 22 hour challenge ahead. Me and Jaakko had already agreed to stay overnight at the app campus as it was offered as a possibility by the competition rules.

Jaakko, Minna, Antti, Lassi

Team preparing for the challenge

Aalto OpenFin project manager Mojtabaei Renani Mahnoush said the welcome words and wished all participants good luck. Next was Juha Viljakainen’s, from OP-Pohjola, time to give some background on OP-Pohjola and the financial service sector generally, its history and challenges.

The competion rules and three categories were introduced by Jouni Lähteenmäki from OP-Pohjola. The categories included:

  1. consumer app innovation zone
  2. entrepreneur app innovation zone
  3. business ecosystem infrastructure innovation zone.

The competitors would be evaluated by financial aspect, market potential, business model viability and how realistically it could be implemented. In addition presentation with surprise factor and impressive demo would get extra credits. Final word was given Futurice’s Riku Valtasola, who explained how the business idea to concept works in the company he represents.

Beginning the design process

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Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies: The First Step in Entrepreneurship

Innovation is all about making a difference in people life‘s, and it starts with an idea.

This idea needs to resonate with customer needs, create the appropriate market attraction, find the right value network to grow, justify its financial costs and last but not least have a potential return on the investment.

For that many aspects about innovative ideas need to be understood, starting with the person who take the idea from being an abstract idea to be a reality (AKA the entrepreneur) and what qualities he / she should have. What innovation means, and how it can create a real value for all of its stakeholders. What is the industry context we are going to work in and what are the market forces that we need to take for. How we are going to build a sustainable business model to support growing our dreams and business. Last but not least, how we are going to find a real market needs and get the appropriate customer understanding.

All these and more were the topics within this interesting course “Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies” which was named #1  Entrepreneurship Course on Coursera by CourseTalk’s “Top Rated” MOOCs.

This blog post is an attempt to go through the course material in a moderate way and provide the key insights and knowledge that you can take with you within your entrepreneurial journey! So I hope you find it useful.

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Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Sustainable healthy life is basic human necessity. We all want to live healthy, stay health and to be healthy.

Healthcare is one of the aspects that can help us achieve the healthy living we look for as civilized modern citizens. We all imagine a healthcare system that is accessible, affordable, efficient with less human errors, less medication errors, better treatment / diagnostic methods and better ways of personalizing the whole healthcare experience for us as individuals.

That been said, the reality differ from the expectations! The healthcare systems today has many challenges that may seem paralyzing and very hard to overcome, but from an innovators point of view we need to see the elephant in the room, we need to see the opportunity for innovation in healthcare from the lens of these challenges, as always, the bigger the challenge, the bigger the return will be!

The Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) aim to assist individuals and/or small teams in the identification, development, and promotion of products, processes, and procedures that address the healthcare system needs, by providing a framework for innovation and entrepreneurship in healthcare.

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Design Thinking For Business Innovation

Innovation has always be seen as a myth, where genius is the main ingredient for it. Unfortunately this is not the reality!

Innovation can be a systematic process. The key to successful innovations is to understand where the process starts. The process starts by first understanding the current needs, the current obstacles the target audience want to overcome and then formulating insights that can guide the thinking about potential solutions.

This is against to what most of us think and do today, where we try to provide solutions without understanding the real problems. So, probably by passion, we try to jump to a future that we envision for our customers without involving them or trying to understand what are there needs.

The argument can be raised that “Customers don’t know what they want” as Steve Jobs said or following what Henry Ford said “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”. This can be partially true when it comes to what customers express literally, but the key takeaway from this is to see what customers don’t see by sensing, observing and noticing the signals than predict the future like “faster” (but not the horses) in Henry Ford quote.


Design Thinking: a means for innovation!

Design Thinking is a mindset and methodology to help businesses in problem solving, finding possibilities and securing innovations that are desirables by humans at first, viable as business offering second and finally feasible as an implementation.

In few words, Design Thinking is all about starting with the human and ending with the human. Design thinking is about the people but first you need to change your mindset for this shift.

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Master Thesis: Empowering Child Sponsorship with Service-Dominant Logic

Child Sponsorship

Child Sponsorship is highly motivational form of regular giving. Largest child sponsorship organizations in Finland are currently Plan, World Vision and Fida. Picture taken from Fida’s project in Tanzania by Erkki Salo.

In this blog post, I Introduce my master thesis and share some of my personal experiences from the MBA studies. As part of my master thesis (which can be downloaded from here: Salo Erkki Master Thesis) I developed a Service-Dominant Logic based business model canvas application for child sponsorship organizations. With the help of the canvas, value propositions for the child sponsorship of the case organization Fida International were developed.

Turmoil in fundraising

Child sponsorship is a highly popular and high impact form of giving that affects to the lives of 90 million people. In child sponsorship, a donor, called a child sponsor, supports a child in a developing country through regular donations. With the support, a sponsored child receives improved chances in life. The case organization Fida International is one of these organizations with its 5200 child sponsors helping 10 000 children in poor countries.

Child sponsorship organizations, like any other charities, are facing the changing world as donor generations are aging without the younger generations filling in the gap. In order to adapt to the change, donor customers cannot be treated as passive receptors of marketing messages, but instead as co-creators of value. By co-designing services together with customers and with other stakeholders, doors can be opened for innovations.

New Business Model Canvas application for child sponsorship

The starting point of the thesis was that the Business Model Canvas (see my previous blog post) introduced by Osterwalder and Pigneur (2010) can help organizations to visualize and innovate successful business models. Despite of its strengths, it is said to represent an old paradigm of service marketing called goods-dominant logic.

The new paradigm of service marketing introduced by Professors Vargo and Lusch (2004), called the Service-Dominant Logic, challenges the Goods-Dominant Logic. In the Service-Dominant Logic, value is always co-created with customers and is solely determined by the customer.

Therefore, I decided to apply the Business Model Canvas with Service-Dominant Logic and to add also insights found from the fundraising literature and from other available business model canvas applications, such as the Lean Canvas and the Nonprofit Business Model 1.0. After the analysis, I used the original business model building blocks by Osterwalder and Pigneur, but altered the original key questions.

The developed business model canvas application was used as part of the service design process to develop value propositions of the case organization’s child sponsorship. Multiple different stakeholders were involved, and the focus was on the big picture. The chosen service-design process was the Double Diamond. As outcomes of the thesis, the case organization gained a deeper understanding of their donor customer needs and how the developed value propositions were linked to the donor customer’s public and private desired outcomes.

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Service-dominant logic in business models – a workshop with Professor Vargo

Written by Katri Ojasalo

The two trending phrases in academic and business conversations are “service-dominant logic” (SDL) and “business model canvas” (BMC). Is there a connection between them? Or are they just two extremes: the first one an academic theory and the latter one a business tool?

In fact, they are quite far from each other. We can see that the BMC is clearly based on goods-dominant logic. This comes up for example in the use of terms, such as customer segments, channels etc. So, does this tool guide businesses to focus on more irrelevant issues and neglect the guiding principles of SDL: customer value and value co-creation? This was the notion that brought a group of Finnish service researchers together.

Professor Vargo commenting on our working version of a SDL-based Business Model Canvas

Professor Vargo commenting on our working version of a SDL-based Business Model Canvas

In fall 2012, service researchers from various Finnish universities were gathered to discuss the future of service research and service competences. During the discussion, we realized a common interest in further developing the BMC, which we all had been using in different contexts in teaching, research, consulting, etc. We saw that the BMC needs adjustments to be in line with SDL. Applying SDL in practice and truly understanding value co-creation can offer a very important competitive advantage for any organization. The BMC seems to be missing this understanding of the relevance of SDL.

To discuss and further develop this issue, we first formed an informal group that was soon changed into a Special Interest Group of the Finnish Service Alliance (FSAan association of more than 100 Finnish service researchers and companies interested in service research). The Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are forums for discussing and developing specific service-related themes and they are founded by the members of FSA.

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